Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2023-76

Common name:

Red Phalarope

Scientific name: Phalaropus fulicarius
Date: 11/12/2023
Time: 11:00am
Length of time observed: 1 hour off and on
Number: 1
Age: adult
Sex: ?
Location: Antelope Island Causeway
County: Davis
Latilong: 41.064486,-112.229238
Elevation: 4200ft~
Distance to bird: 200m at closest
Optical equipment: Kowa 88mm Spotting Scope
Weather: Sunny, clear, calm, 55F
Light Conditions: Poor, harsh bright low angle sun of November
Description:        Size of bird: small shorebird
(Description:)       Basic Shape: plump
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: gray and white
(Description:)            Bill Type:  
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
While scanning the gulls to the south of the causeway, we noticed some very late Phalarope were mixed in. Unfortunately they were pretty far out in harsh light, some where clearly Red-necked with a long thin bill and streaky back, but a couple looked thick billed and I couldn't see any streaking on the back. I then noticed one farther east not with the others in better light, and that one looked very short billed and smooth backed, but still very distant, so I put them down as Red/Red-necked Phalarope sp. wanting a better look. On the way back out a few minutes later, I spotted the lone one farther east again and it was closer so we got as close as we could and studied it in the scope. It had a very smooth gray un-streaked back and very stout shorter bill and black eye line making it a basic plumage Red.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: None heard
Behavior: Swimming to south of Causeway mixed with Bonaparte's Gulls
Habitat: Open brackish water of Farmington Bay of Great Salt Lake
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Red-necked Phalarope: Smaller and slimmer with longer neck and longer, thinner bill, more streaking on back.

Wilson's Phalarope: Larger and slimmer with much longer neck in proportion and longer thinner bill, a weaker gray line behind the eye.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
Yes, several with Red, hundreds of thousands annually with Red-necked and Wilson's.
References consulted: Macaulay Library photos
Description from: From photo(s) taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Bryant Olsen
Observer's address: 84102
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: I was leading a class field trip with 8 other participants, Max Malmquist and party refound it later that afternoon
Date prepared: 11/12/2023
Additional material: Photos
Additional comments: eBird checklist: